Discipleship Then and Now

Here are a few thoughts on how discipleship is changing in the way churches approach it.    

  • Then Church Training (Discipleship Training) now “Disciple Making.”
  • Then Sunday Night 6PM now Anytime.
  • Then At Church now Anywhere.
  • Then Curriculum Driven now Highly Relational.
  • Then Large Group (over 10) now  Small Group (under 10).
  • Then Master Teacher now Full Participation (everyone tells their story).
  • Then Addition now Multiplication (Exponential).
  • Then Random Courses/Studies now Intentional Process.
  • Then Lecture now Discussion/Modeling.
  • Then Destination now Journey.
  • Then No Accountability now High Accountability (not legalistic).
  • Then Short View now Life Long View.
  • Then Random/Disconnected now  Sequential/Thought out Strategy.
  • Then Every Week now Semester Approach.
  • Then Finished/Arrived/Done now Movement.
  • Then Program Discipleship now Personal Discipleship.
  • Then Knowledge Transferred now Life Transformed.
  • Then Mental Assent/Cognitive now Life Application/Heart.
  • Then Program now Process.
  • Then Self Promoting/Me now Missional/Community/Us.
  • Then Class/Surface Relationships now Life on Life/Authenticity.
  • Then Side lines now Front lines.
  • Then Feeding now Equipping/Building Disciple-Makers.

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James


  1. Pingback: DiscipleShift Conference Comes to Kentucky

  2. You are right. One on one is very powerful. I have a video blog on line with Tim Parsons who pastors a church in Lexington who does this really well. We need to do it all…one on one, one on three, one on 10-12 and one on many. Keep up the good work! Leroy Eims, The Lost Art of Disciple Making is still one of the best resources. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.)

  3. Thanks Mike for your thoughts on Discipleship. They seem helpful on the small group approach to disciple-making, but what about one-to-one disciple making? Do you see in Scripture Jesus spending time with 12, more intimate time with three, and special time with one? Paul trained Timothy and told him to train faithful men (2 Tim. 2:2). Elijah trained Elisha, and Moses trained Joshua. I have discovered that much good can take place by picking a faithful, available, teachable, man and spending six months to a year investing in him personally. What say you, and what are other churches doing? Thanks, Todd Gray

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